How are business travelers researching, booking and managing their travel these days? It’s sort of a trick question since the answer is through any device they can — whether it’s a computer tethered to their desk or a smartphone tethered to their hand.
According to a recent report by PhocusWright, two in three travelers in the United States either have searched or booked a hotel through their smartphone or tablet. Interestingly, though, when it comes to actually booking the trip, travelers are still holding on to entrenched desktop habits, with the majority of U.S. reservations not made on mobile phones in 2017.
Fortunately for corporate travelers who want it every which way, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has a powerful solution that will allow them to book all the components of their trip in a single place on any of their devices.
Neo™, a smart self-booking tool that has been a part of the GBT family since 2016 and has more than 2 million active users in 60-plus countries, allows travelers to seamlessly plan, book, share, save and send trips for approval from anywhere in the world on any mobile device, 24/7. But this flexibility to book on any device isn’t the only reason why KDS Neo earned the 2017 Business Travel Awards for Best Self-Booking Tool, has higher-than-average adoption and a 92 percent traveler satisfaction rate — not by a long shot.
Here are the top 10 reasons why business travelers and travel managers (TM) alike love this powerful tool.
1. It was built with business travelers in mind.
The user experience Neo offers is simply exceptional, exceeding any corporate booking tool out there today. It is the only one capable of building an entirely compliant, priced itinerary based on travelers’ preferences and bookable in a single click.
Through its intelligent design, Neo reduces the number of choices travelers have to make, screens they have to navigate and action items they have to take — all while still offering access to rich content from top airlines, major hotel chains and leading ground transport options.
2. It allows travelers to book in seconds.
When users elect to have Neo build their complete itinerary automatically, it all can be put together in seconds. All travelers have to do is log in to the tool, plug in their origin, destination and dates and, in a matter of seconds, they will receive their itinerary, complete with air, lodging and car/rail options. That means your travelers literally will not waste a minute making their arrangements.
3. It’s flexible and works with you.
Travelers who prefer compiling their own trip have the flexibility of making compliant bookings manually themselves, piece by piece. They either can do this as a single-segment trip (a flight or hotel) or plan a multi-segment schedule with a traditional step-by-step approach. They also have the capacity to make modifications whenever they want.
4. It knows what travelers like.
Neo gets to know what travelers’ preferences are based on their past trip behaviors — one reason why the majority of Neo users opt to have the tool build out their trips automatically instead of taking the time to figure it all out themselves.
5. It can help save the company money.
Neo compiles the most cost-effective itinerary by analyzing thousands of routes and options based on search criteria, company policy, preferred suppliers and users’ preferences while also taking into account the actual location of the travelers’ business meetings.
Plus, as a result of more compliant bookings, Neo clients are able to lower their T&E spend by 5 to 10 percent, according to a 2016 KDS client case study.
6. It helps travelers navigate their itinerary.
Through the elegantly designed user interface, travelers quickly can skim an easy-to-view graphical timeline of their entire itinerary to get a clear breakdown of their schedule. Neo also has useful public transportation information integrated, making it that much easier for travelers to get around town efficiently.
7. It can help determine if a trip is worth it.
The other aspect both travelers and TMs will find extremely helpful? In addition to displaying the actual expenses of the trip’s flight, hotels and ground transportation, Neo also will estimate out-of-pocket expenditures by factoring in the costs of meals and ground transfers. Armed with this holistic spend information, travelers and TMs can better predict a trip’s ROI before booking and avoid unnecessary travel.
8. It can improve hotel attachment rate.
As demonstrated by a KDS time-and-motion study, because of how easy it is to assemble the entire itinerary through Neo, using the tool can lead to a 45 percent increase of in-policy hotel bookings — without all the reprimands and reminders! As a result, TMs will have increased visibility into where their travelers are staying, which is critical information to have in case of an emergency.
9. It can boost your negotiating leverage with suppliers.
With all the data Neo captures from travelers’ itineraries, TMs can gain real insight into their travelers’ spend behavior and use it to their advantage when negotiating with vendors.
10. It can help with your duty of care obligation.
Also as a result of the increased visibility into the air, hotel and ground transportation bookings, TMs also will have a ton more information to go on to assist in their search efforts if an unexpected crisis hits. And because Neo integrates seamlessly with several of American Express GBT’s products, travelers can also receive travel risk management alerts if enabled by GBT’s traveler locating solution, Expert Care™.